Felt hats – Dawn Edwards Geelong Fibre Forum 2016

Geelong Fibre Forum
Geelong Grammar Campus, Corio

I had the opportunity in October 2016 to make felt hats  with Dawn Edwards from the USA. She was a tutor at the Geelong Fibre Forum in Victoria (Australia). Every year Tafta Inc presents a week-long retreat with some amazing tutors.  Participants  come and create for a whole week, with nothing to do but enjoy the learning experience. Geelong Grammar campus  overlooks Corio bay with state of the art facilities and heritage buildings.

felt hats handmade
Felt Hats – Dawn EdwardsFelt Hats – Geelong Fibre Forum 2016
felt hat samples
About half the felt hat samples Dawn brought with her!
Felt hats galore….

Dawn’s display of many sample hats was mind boggling. Even more astounding because she had brought them all with her from the states. You would never have known, and it illustrated how robust and forgiving felt is. Fortunately the hats were all lighter than they look. But even so….

Some hats had common templates, but the use of different fabrics, embellishments and wool colour made them all truly unique. The variations and possibilities Dawn showed us for creating felt hats was inspirational and endless. She showed us how to use hat blocks – a first for me- and shared lots of advice on getting the felt smooth. Dawn is a wonderfully generous and patient tutor.

I managed to make 4 hats in the 5 days of uninterrupted felting. I was so involved,  I barely remembered to take photos.

‘Parched Desert Floor Vessel’
felt vessel parched earth
My parched desert floor vessel

Although the main focus of the course was hand felting hats, Dawn also showed us how to create her ‘parched desert floor vessel’. I had used the technique before, but not in a vessel.  Using a much coarser wool, we also learnt some interesting fulling techniques. The vessel measures around 25cm (10in) and took a full day to make.

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